Istanbul Atatürk, Sabiha Gökçen among Europe’s top airports: Association
ISTANBULAccording to statistics released by the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), Istanbul’s Atatürk has become the third busiest airport of Europe in 2015 with a 9.1 percent increase of passengers, bringing its total to nearly 62 million visitors. The statistics have also showed that amongst top European airports with the capacity of 10-25 million passengers, Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) recorded the fastest growth in passenger numbers, with a 19.7 percent of growth.
A European airport trade association, ACI Europe released its traffic report for 2015 on Feb. 5. Its report is the only air transport report that includes all types of civil aviation passenger flights to and from Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.
Passenger traffic across the European airport network in 2015 grew by an average of 5.2 percent, according to the report. At EU airports, the average increase in passenger traffic was 5.6 percent, with airports in Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Lithuania achieving double-digit growth. Meanwhile, non-EU airports reported diminished growth of 3.9 percent mainly due to a significant decline in demand for air travel through Russian and Ukrainian airports, as well as almost flat growth in Norway, despite a stellar increase in passenger traffic in Iceland and sustained growth at most Turkish airports, said the report.
“2015 has been a very good year in terms of passenger traffic, with European airports welcoming an estimated 1.95 billion passengers. Some 20 percent of them achieved a double-digit increase and many broke new traffic records – mostly fueled by the continued growth of low cost airlines and selected non-EU airlines. EU airports generally performed extremely well, despite Germany and France being impacted by airline & ATC strikes and the Paris terror attacks. Remarkably, Istanbul-Atatürk airport became the 3rd busiest European airport with 61.8 million passengers, after London-Heathrow [with 74.9 million] and Paris-Charles de Gaulle [with 65.7 million],” said Olivier Jankovec, the director general of ACI Europe.
Atatürk Airport also saw the second fastest growing number of passengers in 2015 compared to the previous year among all airports in Group 1, which includes airports with a capacity of more than 25 million passengers. Madrid-Barajas topped this list with a 12 percent of increase in the number of passenger numbers.
SAW also became the fastest grower of Europe in Group 2, which includes airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers, followed by the airports of Athens, Dublin, London STN and İzmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport.
İzmir’s airport saw a 12.1 percent of increase in the passengers in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the report.